New workout plan ahead

Tomorrow, I’m starting the new Nike Training Club (N+TC) programme, which will run for another month, as the one I was doing up until now is over.

This time around, I decided to up the stakes a bit more. I chose an intermediate level, and hope for the best. My goal is to get strong, and I also added some runs to it, to mix it up even more.

This is what the app came with for the first week:
Screenshot N+TC Week 1
At first glance, all workouts seem easy enough, or at least short, but when we check them individually, they are actually quite hardcore.

On the first day, they ask to use 4-6kg dumbbells, which is heavier than I’ve ever used. I did use one 4kg dumbbell at some point, instead of a kettle ball, and it was exhausting, so we’ll see how it all works out.

I’ve been watching Arrow lately. I’m on season two at the moment, and it always amazes me the way the guy trains. Exhibit #1 below.

Now, a few points.

  1. Oliver Queen is a fictional character. Of course, any sort of training he does is going to render amazing muscles and abilities. Let’s not forget about that.
  2. Stephen Amell is a guy, which means, he’s going to bulk up pretty easily as soon as he works those weights a bit harder. Let’s not forget about that either.
  3. He is also an actor, which means his sole purpose was to get that body for this role for the few months before starting filming, and once he started, to maintain it (and learn the script, of course).
  4. Oliver Queen needed to survive and therefore, become something else… Someone else. So he was very determined to get fit.

It’s pretty stupid to look at a fictional character and think: wow, I want that – and that, not being his muscles, that would look pretty weird on me, but his fitness and stamina. Again, I know he’s a fictional character. I know. However, the reason I look up to it is because the character decided he needed or wanted something, and worked hard for it.

We see athletes all the time, and they talk about working hard for it, about being persistent and consistent, but we don’t actually see them train. When we watch films or series, we sort of see the process, even if it’s fake (think Simba growing up during just once song, kind of thing). That got me thinking…

A while ago I was moving all the time, I was doing classes and running and all that, but I wasn’t really pushing myself, I was quite comfortable. Whenever I felt I was pushing, I held back for a bit. What happened is that I didn’t see actual results in terms of improving my fitness. Sure, I ran a half marathon and all that, but I still had my usual body, I still got out of breath, and I still felt pretty tired all the time.

Something has changed in my mind. I don’t want to keep finding excuses. For the last month, I’ve been doing a N+TC beginner programme, and it was alright. It was tiring, but I know I could have pushed myself a bit harder.

This weekend I watched the video one of my colleagues filmed of The Major Series run we did last year. It was a muddy run and we were a bunch of people from work. I didn’t count them, because an actual number would have been embarrassing, but throughout the whole video, the sentence you can hear the most is where’s Marta? Yup, I was always the last one, and I had fun, but a bit of a lousy time (I also ended up with a knee injury… as it turns out, pushing your limits while “running” in mud isn’t good for your knees). I felt very embarrassed because they would run ahead, someone would stay behind with me, and then they would be waiting for me at certain points. I was making them slow. Sure, they told me many times it didn’t matter, that they were there to have fun, but I still felt uncomfortable with myself. Yesterday, watching that video again, it brought back all those feelings. Note to self: no more group running activities until I manage to be at the front of the group.

I’ve created a Pinterest board (yes, OK, I might be Miss Pinterest after all…) with fitness goals. It’s not just skinny girls, who of course are what you find the most when searching for that sort of thing online, but it’s more about getting things done.

There’s a bunch of reasons there, from being able to look good in shorts, to be able to to a headstand (it’s still a work in progress, mainly because I don’t want to end up pinning just half naked super skinny women, I want to pin photos of women I would aspire to be, nobody wants to be a naked stick figure).

I’ve mentioned before that I can’t do any press ups. I can’t also do any triceps dips, or any burpees, which is a bit of embarrassment. My goals also include being able to do press ups like nothing, and dips… I’d consider it a success if I manage to do 20 burpees in one minute (don’t laugh at me, currently I do about eight, and cheating!).

At some point, I would love to be able to do a few chin ups, but that’s a whole different story.

I was looking at myself in the mirror today and I noticed something. Initially, I was looking at my burn mark, which is just above my hip tattoo (it’s as if a dark cloud was hovering above my hummingbird), but then I noticed that whenever I engaged my core (not suck my stomach in), I actually didn’t look that bad. Now, I want to be able to see those abs I know are hiding under a protective layer of fat. I don’t care so much about being skinny, I want to have a strong core and nice arms.

So, Monday will be the start of this new programme, a bit like a step further in my training routine. As you saw above, tomorrow I’ll be doing Perfect Score, I’ll let you know how it goes, but I’m guessing I’ll be pretty tired afterwards.

Next week, I’ll post another screenshot with the progress (whenever I do the workouts, they are marked on the app), and the following week’s schedule. Once I feel more confident about other stats like weight and measurements, I’ll share them with you.

Wish me good luck!

What is your training routine? Do you have one? What are your goals?